An organizational structure defines the hierarchy and flow of information at a company. In the past, most organizations fell under one of functional, divisional, matrix or flat structures, each of which had characterstics that made them suitable for different companies and what they were doing.

These structures primarily serve to create a chain-of-command and an appropriate division of labour to fulfil a company’s purpose.

Fast-forward to today; modern knowledge work requires a higher level of collaboration and interdependence across people. Given that the flow of information at companies often reflects their organizational structure, startups and most modern companies tend towards more flat and fluid structures that allow them to build adaptable teams that’re innovative and fast-paced.

Companies are an amalgamation of people, culture, knowledge, processes and tools.

Take any process, and you’ll be able to find ways to improve it with technology. It’s something humans have done throughout history–by using tools to make something we do many times more efficient. Over the last two decades, a similar approach was taken by a lot of companies in the digitalization of their work.

Things like accounting and word processing software were the first of this wave of digitalization. Today, it’s tools like OneDrive, Google Workspace, Slack and Notion leading the charge. A large number of these tools were, and some still are, disparate solutions that lead to information being siloed across different tools and teams.

Without a proper system, finding information across different tools and communicating it efficiently becomes increasingly difficult.

Knowledge workers need to know the close-to-real-time state of the work they are involved in to be effective collaborators while planning their work effectively. However, in practice, this means a lot of searching, notification and meetings–a significant amount of time spent looking for information. This is ideally solved with a good system of organization.

A good system needs to:

  • Be scalable and flexible
  • Bring focus to critical priorities
  • Be engaging: prioritize the individual experience
  • Build accountability and get things done
  • Ensure the succession of ideas and work

A good system needs to be thought of as a whole, it feeds one system that needs to function cohesively, and through time. A company’s organization system is like its nervous system, moving information places, and coordinating everything as effectively as its tools allowed it.


Clew’s system of organization

Clew is a tool for knowledge workers while being a best-in-class platform for organizing all knowledge and work at companies, across tools and teams. Clew’s system of organization consists of a workspace, tags, views and blocks. However, most of the time you’ll only be dealing with Tags and Views.

graph LR A[Workspace] --> B((Tags)) B --> D(Views) D --> E[Blocks]

Tags create flexible labels for organizing work based on teams, projects, departments or the state of work. Some examples of tags are: design, acme-project, done, in-progress.

While tags primarily act as labels, they can also be tied to statuses like pending, in-progress, finished, blocked and more. Statuses provide additional context to tags.

Within Clew’s knowledge graph, tag are connected to views, users, blocks and other tags. This creates a comprehenisive layer of context across all entities within Clew.

tags

Views are for tracking the state of a project, ideating or organizing information. They can be used for organize Blocks that can be tasks, notes, conversations, and resources from other tools the team uses.

→ Visual of a Clew view.

Blocks are individual pieces of work within Views. Some block types are conversation blocks, todo blocks, note blocks, file blocks, table blocks and more; new blocks can be created for new types of content.